St. George man arrested for allegedly assaulting homeowner, trespassing in a dwelling

ST. GEORGE — Officers arrested a St. George man Sunday morning on a number of charges committed earlier in the month.

Joseph Tyler Alexander, of St. George, booking photo taken In Washington County, Utah, Sept. 8, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, a local homeowner and his neighbor called the St. George Police Department on Sept. 1 just after midnight when they noticed a suspicious male – later identified as 31-year-old Joseph Tyler Alexander – attempting to break into the homeowner’s residence with a baseball bat.

The homeowner told the initial investigating officer that he was hosting a house party when he began to notice a number of individuals he did not recognize, including Alexander. When the homeowner approached Alexander at the party, he identified himself as “Joe” and said he was one of the neighbors. Alexander gave the homeowner a phone number that police were able to use to identify him later in the investigation.

As the party progressed, more people who were unfamiliar to the homeowner began to enter the house, so he began asking people to leave, including Alexander, who became agitated at the request and pushed the homeowner after he began to collect Alexander’s belongings to move them outside. After punching another party-goer, a scuffle between Alexander and the homeowner broke out, and according to the statement, Alexander punched the homeowner.

One of the neighbors broke up the fight and offered to walk Alexander home. During their encounter, the neighbor told police that Alexander said he had a gun in his waistline. The neighbor dropped Alexander off at his house before walking back to the residence where the party had been taking place.

The neighbor said he was about to leave the home when he saw Alexander walking back to the home with a bat. The homeowner, neighbor and several others still left in the home barricaded themselves in one of the bedrooms while they called the police.

During this time, one of the windows was broken and two cars were damaged with a blunt object, although no one inside of the home witnessed these events. According to the probable cause statement, officers assert that the damage to both the window and the cars are consistent with a baseball bat.

The investigating officer asked the neighbor if the damage could have been caused by someone else, to which he told the officer “he didn’t believe it could have been anybody else but Joseph (Alexander).”

Later that day, when officers attempted to ask Alexander about the incident, he said he didn’t recall anything about a party. However, one of the party attendees that was allegedly assaulted by Alexander showed a SnapChat picture that reportedly showed Alexander at the party.

On Sunday, St. George Police officer Joseph Diem took Alexander to the police department for questioning. Alexander told Diem that he had been walking to a friend’s house when he passed the home where the party was taking place.

Alexander told police he spoke with an unidentified man outside of the home who invited him in, where he had two beers before he was invited outside to smoke marijuana. The defendant said a verbal altercation broke out after he was skipped while people passed around a marijuana joint.

The argument escalated until Alexander said he was “jumped by 8-10 guys and assaulted on two separate occasions.” He said after the second incident, he returned home immediately and told his wife what had happened.

Diem booked Alexander into the Washington County Jail on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass within a dwelling and two counts of assault, along with felony counts of aggravated burglary and criminal mischief.

Diem has also appealed for Alexander’s continued detention as the officer believes he is a substantial danger to the community and is likely to flee.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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